Corporate political donations in Australia

frequency, location, and motivation of voluntary disclosures

Edward Tello Melendez, James Hazelton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

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Abstract

Motivated by the controversy surrounding corporate lobbying and corporate political donations, this study considers voluntary Australian corporate political donation disclosures. The frequency, quality, location and motivation of disclosures are investigated from a Legitimacy Theory perspective. While Australian corporations must disclose political donations to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) annually, they are not compelled to disclose this information in either annual reports, or stand-alone reports, or websites. Voluntary disclosures of a sample comprising 164 companies which donated $40,000 or more during the fiscal years 2004, 2005 and 2006 were analysed. Findings were low frequency and quality of voluntary political donation disclosures. Most disclosures were made in annual reports. Evidence supporting Legitimacy theory, is mixed. While the narrative of disclosures and industry characteristics of disclosing companies were consistent with the theory, the lack of disclosure overall suggested that voluntary disclosures of corporate political donations were not a prevalent legitimating device.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th Australasian Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference
EditorsJames Guthrie, Geoffrey Frost, Matthew Egan, Sharron O'Neill, Abdul Razeed, Noona Martinov-Bennie, Sandra van der Laan, Cornelia Beck, Jeffery Unerman, Amanda Ball, Markus Miln
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherUniversity of Sydney
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventAustralasian Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference (6th : 2007) - Sydney
Duration: 2 Dec 20074 Dec 2007

Conference

ConferenceAustralasian Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference (6th : 2007)
CitySydney
Period2/12/074/12/07

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    Tello Melendez, E., & Hazelton, J. (2007). Corporate political donations in Australia: frequency, location, and motivation of voluntary disclosures. In J. Guthrie, G. Frost, M. Egan, S. O'Neill, A. Razeed, N. Martinov-Bennie, S. van der Laan, C. Beck, J. Unerman, A. Ball, ... M. Miln (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th Australasian Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference Sydney: University of Sydney.